When I ask people what's the first thing they think of when they hear the words, "job search" the most common responses are:
They Didn't Teach You Job Search & Career Building In School
Part of the reason job search gets such a bad reputation is we weren't taught how to do it properly. Raise your hand if you were given extensive hours of training on how to pick the right career path and find the right job opportunities? Because of this education gap, most people follow the path of least resistance, i.e. applying online to random jobs and never hearing back, etc. Which leads to a series of failures that make you feel terrible about yourself and your ability to find your dream job.
Step 1: Kill The "Job Search Must Be Hard" Myth
I can cite you dozens of studies showing how your thoughts affect your actions. If you hate job search because you believe it's really hard, your ability to motivate yourself to do it becomes ten times harder. In my experience, job seekers are incredible at procrastinating. They push off the job search because they don't want to spend their free time doing something they believe is boring and unfulfilling. And, when they finally do look for work, it's usually under duress. For example, they wait until the situation at their current job is so bad, they are getting sick over it. Or, even worse, they wait until they get fired or laid-off and now need to find a job as fast as they can. Talk about stressful! The solution to all this is to change your mindset around job search.
To Change Your Mindset, You Need 2 Things...
If you want to experience a job search that is interesting and rewarding, you need two things:
1. Access to a community of positive, like-minded job seekers. Positive thoughts can only be created and reinforced through consistent exposure to people who already have those thoughts. When you join a group of people who feel the way you want to feel, you'll get there much faster. Humans are tribal by nature. Choosing to spend time with a tribe of people who want to enjoy and succeed at job search will help you get there faster.
2. Ability to get the right answers, at the right time, from the right people. In order to close your gap in knowledge around job search, you need to be able to interact with resources that can give you accurate information when you need it. Asking friends and family for their opinions is a recipe for job search disaster. They can't be objective, nor have they been trained in the latest techniques. Being able to refer to a trained professional for advice lets you quickly remove roadblocks so you can keep your momentum going. Plus, when humans have access to trusted resources, they feel more confident in their ability to succeed.
When you utilize the above, you give yourself the tools needed to master job search and feel more in control of your career.
P.S. You Aren't Crazy, The Hiring Process Is Designed To Shut You Out
One of the reasons people get to the point of hating their job search is the lack of feedback. They apply online into a big black hole. We mistakenly assume online technology advancements (i.e. job boards), should making finding a job easier. The reality is technology has only made it easier for companies to screen you out. In fact, it's actually harder to get noticed by employers today! The solution is to learn how to go around the online process. When you can network and connect directly with employers, you'll find job search much less stressful and more satisfying because you'll get the feedback you need.